Seahawks Insider

Harbaugh on Wilson: ‘A phenomenal player’

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on Dec. 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm with 28 Comments »
December 5, 2013 12:09 pm

Jim Harbaugh met with the San Francisco media Wednesday. Here’s what he had to say:

How’s T Joe Staley doing right now?

“He’s doing alright.”

Is there a chance that he could be up for you on Sunday?

“I don’t know. I wouldn’t rule it out at this time.”

Based on the way that some of the offensive linemen that did step in on Sunday, played well against a good Rams front, are you encouraged, hopeful, in case Joe and G Mike Iupati can’t go this Sunday, that they have a game under their belt against a good front to show against Seattle?

“Yes. [G/T] Alex Boone immediately stepped out to left tackle and did a very good job against a very good player. [T] Anthony Davis, another real good game from A.D. And then [G] Joe Looney being thrown in there and did a real admirable job. I thought he was very confident. I thought he went after people and was real good with his assignments, so a very good job by him.”

Do you think Iupati has a chance to play Sunday?

“Again, I wouldn’t rule it out, but don’t know at this time.”

If Alex Boone weren’t needed at guard, do you think he could be a full-time left tackle or tackle in the NFL?

“He’s a very talented player. Yes, I do think that.”

What sort of challenges does Seahawks QB Russell Wilson present and why is he playing so well?

“He’s a fantastic player. A wonderful, wonderful player, competitor. Skills of arm talent, mobility. Great field awareness. Understands the scrambling lanes, the escape routes out of the pocket. And then that feel that only so many quarterbacks have had that have ever really played the game to extend plays. So, a lot of great qualities. A lot of wonderful qualities about him.”

Are those qualities, kind of what he does when he’s improvising, when he gets flushed out, and does QB Colin Kaepernick share those same improvisational skills?

“I think they’re both very talented quarterbacks. Two great young quarterbacks. And they both throw really well from the pocket, too. They stand in there and deliver. Their timing and accuracy, they’re very good at that.”

Is he noticeably better, when you watch the film of the last time they were here, I think Week 7 last year, than he is now?

“Russell Wilson?”

Yeah. Does it jump out at you when you watch the tape?

“He’s playing phenomenal. A phenomenal player.”

Talk about just how DT Justin Smith’s played the last couple of weeks? It seems like he’s getting the pressure that you need out of him. He’s about a year removed from that triceps injury.

“Yeah. Another game ball for Justin this past week. And, it was just his usual good performance. Probably in on nine, 10 tackles, 4our hurries. Excellent job in the run stopping. But, I would agree, he’s playing very good football.”

He had a couple of those plays where he literally pushed his man back into the quarterback like he did in the playoff game against the Saints. Do you think that his strength has been getting better and better since the arm injury and that he’s back to 2011-levels?

“I don’t know. I know he’s playing really well. He’s playing with a lot of strength. He’s one of those guys, a rare, that if it was bothering him, if he had less strength you’d never know it or he wouldn’t say anything about it. He’s a great warrior with amazing perseverance.”

He has fewer snaps at this point of the season than he did last year. Is that a factor of the guys behind him playing better, DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, warranting more snaps or do you consciously want to give Justin a little bit more rest than he’s been getting?

“Yeah, I think that’s a factor. The emergence of Tony Jerod-Eddie, [TE/DT Demarcus] Dobbs, their roles have been increased. There’s been some rotation in there. I’d say it’s a function of the emergence of those guys.”

I know he doesn’t get sacks on those plays that Matt mentioned, but what’s your reaction when you see him do that on film?

“It’s awesome. Just a strong man playing extremely strong. It’s rare to see that. He’s got amazing perseverance. It would take that wouldn’t it? It would take real strength and perseverance and drive to accomplish that.”

How much have of RB Frank Gore’s struggles to get on track the last few games, not many spaces to run and whatnot, related to scheme, the offensive line injuries, Frank’s ankle or just is there anything you can site or expound upon?

“No. I don’t call them struggles. It’s football. Once again, Frank does so many things for our offense. And, people rush in and call it a struggle if you don’t rush for 100 yards in the game. I don’t see it that way.”

Your old high school coach Earl Hansen announced his retirement. Your thoughts on his career and what he meant to you?

“Yes. Learned that yesterday and congratulations to Coach Hansen on a wonderful, wonderful career. The impact he had on my life and so many of the players that he coached and youth that he taught was very impactful. Great leadership qualities. He’s been a dear friend, at the point now you can call him a lifelong friend. It’ll be interesting. He’s such a football coach. Such a coach and such a teacher that he may be back. It’s hard to picture him not coaching. I congratulate him on a stellar career and what it meant, how many people he impacted. I think of It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s Jimmy Stewart and the amount of people that he impacted. He would be a very good comparison to Coach Hansen.”

So much attention is put on how loud the Seattle stadium is. Are you hoping for a similar home field advantage when your new stadium is built?

“Well, I would hope for that this week, that Candlestick, we get it cranked up. Make it a real great environment, because it’ll be a great football game. I know players will be very enthusiastic for the game. If this doesn’t fire you up, if this doesn’t fire up the fans then what does? I suppose Abraham Lincoln riding across the field with a frock and a top hat, riding a horse, waving an American flag. I doubt that would fire them up, if this game doesn’t fire them up. The people that really love football would be fired up by this matchup.”

What’s the loudest you’ve heard Candlestick? Do you remember a game, an instance in the last two and a half years?

“Yeah, there’s been several. A playoff-type atmosphere, those games, they get the loudest. I think this is the kind of game that will really get the true football fan fired up.”

Is this the best, most well-balanced team that you’ve faced or will face this season?

“They’re a great football team. A tremendous challenge. Like I said, we’re very excited so far in our preparation and we expect really good days leading up to the game.”

Were you surprised Monday night. A lot of people thought that was going to be a very competitive game. Were you surprised by the final score or the way that game turned out?

“Games can go that way in the NFL. I’ve seen it now for three years. Every team you play, every team you go against has the ability to run you right out of the stadium. You have the ability to run them right out of the stadium. Most of the time what happens it’s a pretty darn close game that can go either way. That’s what I’ve seen for all these NFL games, goes one of those three ways.”

You talked about your fans getting fired up for this, do you sense that your team’s more fired up this week, maybe trying to prove something against a division rival?

“I think all the players are. Both sides of the ball, both teams will be very enthusiastic to play the game. That’s what I’ve said, that’s what I think. As they are, as they are for every game. That’s the nature of this business.”

How does S Earl Thomas pace that defensive secondary? How does he lead those other cornerbacks and safeties in that backfield, that’s unique?

“Unique? He’s really great at so many things that you want a safety to be great at. He’s a sure-tackler. A hard hitter. Covers a lot of ground. Does a great job of reading the eyes of the quarterback. He’s able to make the plays in the deep part of the field. He’s able to make plays up near the line of scrimmage, in the backfield or at the linebacker depth. He can cover a lot of ground. He’s like Willie Mays. He’s a five-tool player. He can do it all.”

Leave a comment Comments → 28
  1. Harbaugh does a good job with his analysis of Wilson and Thomas.

    He does talk about Kapernick’s strengths but the reality is the game moves very slow for Wilson and it moves too fast for Kapernick which is the big difference between the two.

  2. CDHawkFan says:

    Imagine how much this ass is going to be crying on the sidelines on Sunday. Get ready to curse his name.

  3. yankinta says:

    Talking about RW has become boring for me, at least for today. Let’s look ahead to 2014,, shall we?? :)

    We will have 3 away games and 1 home game that are Tough. But for the most part, we will have an Easy Schedule. I predict we’ll go 16-0. lol

    2014 Regular Season
    Home
    Dallas Cowboys
    New York Giants
    Denver Broncos
    Oakland Raiders
    NFC North Same Place Finisher (Detriot)
    San Francisco 49ers (Div.)
    St. Louis Rams (Div.)
    Arizona Cardinals (Div.)

    Away
    Philadelphia Eagles
    Washington Redskins
    Kansas City Chiefs
    San Diego Chargers
    NFC South Same Place Finisher (New Oleans)
    San Francisco 49ers(Div.)
    St. Louis Rams (Div.)
    Arizona Cardinals (Div.)

  4. HawkfaninMT says:

    How not to Answer a Question 101:

    “Games can go that way in the NFL. I’ve seen it now for three years. Every team you play, every team you go against has the ability to run you right out of the stadium. You have the ability to run them right out of the stadium. Most of the time what happens it’s a pretty darn close game that can go either way. That’s what I’ve seen for all these NFL games, goes one of those three ways.”

    So either one team gets blown out, or it is close… Yep those are about the options!

  5. Except he forgot to mention ties. I guess he’s trying to supress the memory of their game at home against STL last year.

  6. raymaines says:

    Here’s the Las Vegas line for the weekend games.

    Favorite Spread Underdog

    Houston -3 At Jacksonville
    Kansas City -3 At Washington
    At Baltimore -6.5 Minnesota
    At New England -12 Cleveland
    At NY Jets -3 Oakland
    At Cincinnati -6 Indianapolis
    At New Orleans -3 Carolina
    At Philadelphia -3 Detroit
    At Pittsburgh -3 Miami
    At Tampa Bay -2.5 Buffalo
    At Denver -12 Tennessee
    At Arizona -6.5 St. Louis
    At San Diego -3 NY Giants
    At San Francisco -2.5 Seattle
    At Green Bay Off Atlanta
    At Chicago -1 Dallas

    I could see a lot of these games going the other way (@Jacksonville, Carolina, Detroit, Miami, Buffalo, and Seattle for example). It’s a close match up when the home team is only favored by three.

  7. montanamike2 says:

    That was about as evasive an answer to questions as i’ve seen, reminds me of Pete’s interviews. Must see TV this week.
    Hey thanks for the welcome back STTBM.

  8. If the home team is favored by 3 the odds makers consider it an even match. They must be right about this one because the last I heard the bets are falling at 50% on each side which is just what they are looking for.

  9. Dukeshire says:

    Against the spread they are, but not the money line. The Hilton is running at 75%/25% to Seattle. The over/under is running 66%/34% to the over. So unless SF wins, Vegas will not fare well in this one, as it currently stands.

  10. Dukeshire says:

    And that ML has come back to SF. it was in the 90%+ to Seattle to start the early morning. Anyway…

  11. Vegas56 says:

    Raymaines, yesterday at Palace Station I got the Seahawks +3 and -125…it was a strange line though because SF was -3 and also -125 which you don’t see very often. It is almost like they were discouraging betting on the game as both needed to bet 125 to win 100. Usually if one side is at -125 the other will be +105 or at least even. I think the line-makers are not very confident on this game…I was stunned to get 3 points and I almost (oh so close) gave back the points to bet the game even up, but that would only have gained me a little over 40 bucks on a $100 bet. So I took the points even though my $105 bet will only win about $90.

  12. Southendzone says:

    For other games on the schedule, seems like Oakland has a decent chance to beat NYJ, and Carson Palmer might be out for the STL game, if he doesn’t play I could see STL winning or covering that.

    Those are my 2 upset picks of the week, you can bet I will be back here telling you all that I’m right 95% of the time if I get those right. COUNT ON IT!

  13. Dukeshire says:

    -125? That is weird. I agree with you: there’s no value in giving back pts there.

  14. Vegas56 says:

    I am terrible at predicting the future, but the NFC is lining up where after the wild card games, it looks like the final four will be Seattle, Carolina, New Orleans and San Francisco…two from the South and two from the west. Nothing out of the North or East. That will make the TV Gods very unhappy.

  15. Vegas56 says:

    Duke, it really is like they are keeping bettors away from the game…they’re punting it because it could be a loser for them. No confidence in the line is all I can think.

  16. pabuwal says:

    You guys would be surprised how popular the Seahawks are nationwide. The local Philly sports radio station spent 2 hours talking about how great Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas and the Seahawks are. The actual topic for the 2 hours was “how great would the Eagles be had they drafted Wilson over Foles.” They are still hurting over drafting Brandon Graham over Earl Thomas which is why Thomas came up.

  17. yankinta says:

    pabuwal,, which radio Station was this? I’d like to download their Podcast and listen to it. Thanks for sharing,, :)

  18. Jax drafted a punter over Wilson. Thats hilarious!

  19. Bryan Anger is a damn good punter!

    And he doubles as their holder.

  20. Skavage says:

    Slightly off topic as I’ve done before, please bear with me…

    Did anyone happen to hear the RW press conference this afternoon around 1:00 PM? Ryan maybe you can post the sound bites if possible?

    At any rate it was BY FAR the best RW press conference I’ve ever heard. Sometimes Wilson gets a little boring because he is always so even keeled, praising his teammates, coaches, etc. But in the middle of a fairly typical press conference one of the reporters asks him about the Michael Bennett story where Michael called a local restaurant for reservations as was told there was a 2 hour wait or some-such.

    As the story is told Bennett calls the restaurant back, poses as Russell Wilson and gets an immediate confirmation for a table. So his party shows up at the restaurant and they have a special table all roped off for the “Wilson party”.

    Hilarious reaction when they discover Bennett is not Wilson. But as RW is telling the story to the reports today he gets to the part where the restaurant people figure out Bennett isn’t RW and this verbatim quote comes out of RW’s mouth on the podium today…

    When they found out Michael wasn’t me “they got really pissed off…”

    Just hearing Wilson say the words “pissed off” was so funny I nearly spit my drink out. He was REALLY antimated as he told the whole story and then he tops it off with such a normal human being statement…”pissed off”. It was shocking, funny, and just made me love the guy all the more. It was like he dropped his guard for just a tiny fraction of a second and you suddenly had a chance to see why RW is so damn likeable to his teammates.

    If you haven’t heard it and Ryan isn’t able to post it here, it’s definitely worth your time to see if you can find it on the ESPN KIRO 710 web site. Just a really entertaining few minutes.

  21. Skavage says:

    Ryan hopefully it is ok that I post this link. If not, my apologies in advance. But it’s a great bit to hear from RW.

    Start listening to RW’s press conference at the 41:07 mark of hour 1 on the Bob and Groz show.

    http://mynorthwest.com/?nid=577&a=9964699&p=1014&n=December+5%2C+2013+-+Hour%3A+1

  22. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Wilson really said pissed off? Cool!!!

  23. pabuwal says:

    Yank – The Radio station is 97.5 The Fanatic and it was the 10 AM ET Tuesday show.

  24. SandpointHawk says:

    @ Skavage, Thanks, that made my day because I thought Russell only dropped his guard at home, with his wife, locked in the back room where no parabolic mic could ever pick up his words…I’d love to hear that interview…

  25. SandpointHawk says:

    @ Pabs…great summation, the talking heads should take a lesson from you…

    He does talk about Kapernick’s strengths but the reality is the game moves very slow for Wilson and it moves too fast for Kapernick which is the big difference between the two.

  26. Earlier this season, the mics caught Wilson saying “shit” when a snap came at him early. I don’t remember the game, but I remember my wife’s surprised reaction.

  27. Skavage says:

    Todd…seems I can’t get the names straight around here these days. I mean to say your name, not Ryan’s….doh! But in either case I see your new post has a link to the whole press conference. Thanks!

  28. OrrObb–He’s still a punter! Still hilarious lol!

    I wasnt sure it was Wilson saying “Shpit”, I thought it was another player or someone on the sidelines or the booth…thats funny.

    Kind of like when a TV camera focused on Krieg on the sidelines once as he spit chew out; He always asked the camera crews not to film him on the sidelines because he didnt want kids to see that he chewed. It was shocking, and I never saw it happen again.

    Its nice to know the stars we look up to in many ways arent perfect. I like them better that way too.

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